Route 62 Karoo Tour - Going Somewhere Slowly
5 Days/4 Nights, Bed & Breakfast - Max 10 persons
Please note: Meals/snacks (other than breakfast) and drinks for your own account
DAY 1: PAARL, WORCESTER, ROBERTSON, ASHTON & MONTAGU (±132km)
- Depart at 08h00 from Paarl to Worcester to The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden for a "know each other" session and to enjoy this truly unique garden which cultivates and displays a wide variety of arid and semi-arid plants.
- On our way to Robertson, we stop at Die Pampoen Padstal where tea or coffee and rusks can be enjoyed on the “stoep” and jams, baskets, dried fruits, wire works, and other products can be purchased.
- We continue the tour for our next visit at Rooiberg Winery which was established on 14 April 1964. Enjoy wine tasting at this leading South African wine cellar with its striking red land art.
- On our way to Ashton, we stop at the famous Affieplaas Padstal. "Affie plaas" is a colloquial Afrikaans term that is used to refer to goods that come directly from the farm.
- We move on for lunch at Platform 62 Winery & Eatery in Ashton. Platform 62 represents more than 60 cellars and offers over 750 wines and 16 distillers! Join us for a tutored wine tasting and grab a bite at their eatery.
Official Start of Route 62
- On our way to Montagu for a sleepover, we stop at The Old English Fort that was built in 1899 and signaled the second Boer War. It is situated on top of the Cogmanskloof Tunnel to Montagu.
- We arrive in Montagu, and it offers you a chance to travel back in time. Take a deep breath and take it all in.
- We book in at The Montagu Country Hotel, centrally located in town and within walking distance of many of the activities and facilities. (B&B)
- The rest of the day can be spent at your own leisure with a variety of attractions to visit:
The afternoon is available to go on an exploration and discovery tour through the village to e.g. visit the following:
• Capedry Montagu Farmstall: A big range of locally produced dried fruit products with specialisation in Cape peeled peaches, are sold at factory shop prices.
• Montagu Museum – Joubert Huis, Long Street: A house museum which portrays the typical country lifestyle of the 1850's.
• Montagu Art & Crafts Route: See map on right.
• Day visits to Avalon Springs: One of Montagu's main attractions is the Avalon Springs.
• Montagu Leiwater Dam: One of Montagu's most popular and easily accessible tourism venues is the Leidam, a true birdlife phenomenon situated in the heart of town.
• Montagu Nature Garden: A must for Montagu citizens and its visitors is the beautiful and tranquil Montagu Nature Garden situated in Montagu South.
DAY 2: BARRYDALE, LADISMITH & CALITZDORP (±186km)
- We depart (after breakfast) to Barrydale where time can be spent at Barrydale Hand Weavers, a sought-after tourist attraction.
- The Karoo Art Hotel is both exhibition space and showcase for the artists of the Karoo and beyond.
- Hardy’s Memories of Africa: Curio shop with arts and crafts of most African countries, as well as Nguni and game skins.
- Diesel & Crème: Their milkshakes are exceptional!
- On the way to Ladismith we stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop. “The oddest pub in South Africa,” inspired by a practical joke.
- Our next stop is Kanna Kombuis to enjoy a hearty meal or hot cup of coffee.
- Places to visit in town are Parmalat & Ladismith cheese factories.
- You will find fantastic brandy and wine at Ladismith Cellar.
- The last leg of the day takes us to the town of Calitzdorp where you will find the missionary station, Zoar outside Ladismith, where two farmers handed the farm Elandsfontein to the government for missionary work on 27 March 1817.
- From Zoar we travel to our second sleepover in the town of Calitzdorp and book in at The Queen of Calitzdorp (B&B). Their rooms are furnished to the highest standard with elegant solid wood furniture, and they are in walking distance of Boplaas, De Krans and the wine-tasting rooms of Calitzdorp Cellar.
- See the town on foot and enjoy their impressive sandstone-church, a national monument, a museum and two art galleries, as well as the charming town houses reflecting architecture from many different eras.
- Boplaas Family Vineyards: Their history of distilling quality spirits dates to 1880. As a producer of port wine, Boplaas is consistently voted South Africa’s best and is highly rated internationally.
- Calitzdorp Museum: Where a world of history, heritage, culture, fine wines, and port lies.
- De Kranz Wines: Wine tasting with roosterkoek snacks.
- Calitzdorp Cellar: Producer of several award winning white, red, and fortified wines since 1928.
- Calitzdorp Spa: Relax in their Roman bath where the water temperature is always around 30°C, or in their warm outdoor pool.
DAY 3: OUDTSHOORN (±54km)
We depart at 09h00 to the town of Oudtshoorn for the day where we will stay at the Queens Hotel. The oldest 4 star in South Africa and third oldest of all hotels in South Africa. The Queen’s Hotel is an oasis of elegance and wired modern convenience in the heart of Oudtshoorn. (Dinner incl, B&B)
Activities on the list:
- Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients: Endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. (Incl.)
- Chandelier Game Lodge & Ostrich Show Farm:
• Giraffe Experience - feed the giraffes.
• With their Buffalo Experience guests get the ideal opportunity to learn more about the once endangered Cape Buffalo.
• The Chandelier Khoi-san trail gives guests a taste of the way the real, indigenous people of the Klein Karoo lived and survived in the harsh conditions of this semi-desert landscape.
• Ostrich Farm Tours remain one of the most fascinating attractions in South Africa, therefore great care has been taken on Chandelier to make the ostrich show farm tour an unforgettable experience.
- C.P. Nel Museum: Houses exhibits depicting the role of the ostrich trade in the town's history. (Incl.)
- Safari Ostrich Farm Longtime: Family-owned ostrich farm on 1,800 hectares with guided tractor tours, a gift shop & cafe. (Incl.)
DAY 4: CANGO CAVES, SWARTBERG PASS, PRINCE ALBERT, LAINGSBURG & MATJIESFONTIEN (±198km)
- We depart at 08h15 for a visit at the Cango Caves for a Heritage Tour. An easy walk through the first six largest and most spectacular halls and continuing through to the African Drum Room.
- From there we travel the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert.
- The 27km Swartberg Pass: You will be treated to a wide variety of incredible scenery. This is the one pass you must experience at least once in your lifetime.
- We arrive in Prince Albert, a delightful, historic town at the foot of the awe-inspiring Swartberg Pass.
• Stroll through the town and look in at The Fransie Pienaar Museum which portrays the cultural and natural history of Prince Albert and the district.
• Gay’s Guernsey Dairy: Enjoy fabulous hand-made Guernsey cow dairy products and get a real taste of farm life.
• Studio 51: Di Smith is a multidisciplinary visual artist living and working in Prince Albert. Work includes painting, sculpture, assemblage, and textile art.
• Prince Albert Open Studios: Go for light lunch at The Rude Chef that offers delicious home-cooked meals made with fresh local produce, or visit O for Olive, the oldest olive farm in the Prince Albert area and join us for a delicious lunch or something sweet in the garden or on the veranda.
- From there we travel to Lainsburg and visit the Laingsburg Flood Museum before we go to Matjiesfontein founded in 1884 by the Scottish railway man, James Douglas Logan.
- We book in at the majestic Lord Milner Hotel for our last sleepover. (B&B)
- Self-guided Walking Tour of the town starting at the Hotel and ending up at The Laird's Arms for a well-deserved ice-cold Matjies brew.
- The Old Post Office: Now known as The Matjiesfontein Gift Shop.
- Pink Church: Originally the school and concert hall of the town.
- Historic Cricket Pitch: One of the first international matches between South Africa and England took place at Matjiesfontein and many famous English cricketers and teams have played this unforgiving Karoo pitch; including in 1894 and 1896.
- Court House and Jail: It was here in 1901 that the high-profile trial and conviction of the captured Boer hero, General Gideon Scheepers, took place.
- The Old Bank Building: The African Banking Corporation opened chambers here in June 1897, in a building built by Logan.
- British Army Remount Camp: The area in front of the railway station served as parade ground, where over 10,000 infantry and 20,000 horses were camped in the surrounding veld.
- Flourmill and Mineral Waterworks: Steam locomotives required 300l of water and 75kgs of coal for every kilometer travelled – over 250,000l of water to cross the Karoo!
- The Railway Station: The original station opened on this site on 1 February 1878 as the railway made its way north, reaching Lainsburg later the same year.
- Traveler’s Chapel: This building on the bank of Monument River originally housed gas-generating equipment used to light the village.
• The Transport Museum: Located on the edge of the village, features a remarkable collection of vintage cars from the 1930-1960s era.
• The Marie Rawdon Museum: One visit alone isn’t enough to take in the vast collection of Victoriana.
• Railway Museum: Just outside you'll find a station master's office dating back to the late 1800s as well as the original signal room.
- Bus Tour: Bus departs from the Laird's Arms around 17h30 every day.
- The Lord Milner Hotel Dining Room: Serving guests for the last 120 years.
- Stargazing to end the day: Matjiesfontein has one of the clearest skies in the Southern hemisphere, offering a spectacular star gazing experience.
DAY 5: DE DOORNS, WORCESTER & PAARL (±181km)
- The historic Monument Cemetery lies 10km west of Matjiesfontein (towards Cape Town). In this cemetery is the grave of Major General Andrew Gilbert Wauchope, who gave his life on 11 December 1899 at Magersfontein in the South-African War (2nd Boer War).
- Touwsrivier, Hexrivierpas, De Doorns
• Veldskoen padstal: Together with their friendly staff, most enjoyable food, and homey atmosphere, it remains a must stop for travelers driving through De Doorns on the N1.
- De Doorns to Worcester
• Seekoeigat Padstal: Fresh fruit and vegetables.
• De Wet Cellar: The oldest cellar in the Worcester area delivers a relaxed tasting experience. Try their popular cheese and meat platter wine pairing.
- The last stop on our way to Paarl from Worcester is Du Toitskloof Wines for a wine tasting, while the Ou Meul Bakery and Café offers fresh breads, home-baked cookies, etc. The lunch menu is served from 12h00.
- From there the last stretch to Paarl for the end of the ‘Going Somewhere Slowly’ tour.
Maximum 10 persons with Sprinter bus, includes driver and guide.
(Price may differ for smaller group sizes.)
INDIVIDUAL TOUR @ R12 165 pp:
Maximum 2 persons, includes SUV vehicle with driver-guide.
SELFDRIVING TOUR @ R6,689 pp:
Buy the tour program and make use of own transport.